How to Crate Train Your Dog: Expert Tips and Top Dog Crates in 2023

Leaving their dogs alone at home can be difficult for many pet owners as life gradually returns to normal. Veterinarians now frequently suggest crate training as a way to assure the security and comfort of dogs when they are left alone. Crate training may be quite helpful in housebreaking pups and giving dogs of all ages a safe place, even though it could take some time and patience. This article will go over the advantages of crate training, the different kinds of dog crates that are out now, and professional advice to make sure your furry friend has a successful crate training experience.

The Benefits of Crate Training

Crate training provides several benefits for both dogs and their owners. It creates a safe and comfortable space for dogs to relax when anxious or stressed. Additionally, crate training is crucial in housebreaking puppies, preventing them from engaging in destructive behavior when left unsupervised. Zay Satchu, DVM, chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet, emphasizes that crates should never be used as punishment, which can lead to fear and anxiety in dogs.

Types of Dog Crates and Their Features

There are various types of dog crates available, each with its own set of features:

- Fabric or Soft-Sided Dog Crates:

These crates are compact, lightweight, and simple to transport when moving somewhere. They can be difficult to clean and less durable than other options, thus they are better suited for brief uses.

- Metal Dog Crates:

Metal crates are durable and ideal for dogs that like to chew. They offer good ventilation and visibility for the dog. Additionally, they can be modified with dividers, and crate covers to blend seamlessly with home decor.

- Plastic Dog Crates:

Lightweight and typically used for air travel, plastic crates offer more privacy for the dog. They are sturdier and easier to clean than soft-sided crates but do not fold for storage.

- Play Pens or Exercise Pens:

These pens provide a more spacious option for confinement and can be combined with a crate to create a play zone. However, they may not be suitable for bigger dogs or those prone to jumping and climbing.

How to Choose the Right-Sized Crate

Choosing the right-sized crate is essential for the comfort and safety of your dog. For puppies, please consult your veterinarian to predict their adult size and select a crate with a divider panel to adjust the space as they grow. Here are some factors to consider:

  • The length of your dog starts at the base of the tail, excluding the full length of the tail, to the tip of the snout. The ideal length

Β for a crate is 2 to 4 inches longer.

  • From the ground to the top of your dog’s head, measure its height. For the required minimum height, add 2 to 4 inches.
  • Width: The crate’s width is determined by the length and height measurements and does not require a separate measurement.
  • Weight Limit: To make sure your dog can fit comfortably in the crate, always check the weight limit.

Best Dog Crates in 2023

Choosing the right dog crate can be overwhelming, with many options available. To simplify your decision-making process, we’ve compiled some of the best dog crates in 2023:

- Best Dog Crate Overall: Midwest Large Double Door iCrate

Introducing the Midwest iCrate – a user-friendly and effortlessly configurable pet crate that prioritizes your pup’s comfort. With carefully spaced metal bars, this crate ensures optimum visibility and proper ventilation for your furry friend. from 18 inches to 48 inches, and in a variety of sizes in length, you can choose between the single-door or double-door variant to suit your preferences.

To guarantee your dog’s security, the crate door is equipped with a reliable sliding bolt mechanism, minimizing the chances of any escape attempts. However, it’s essential to note that powerful and persistent dogs might still manage to unlatch it. As a precaution, it’s crucial to gradually acclimate your dog to the crate before leaving them unattended.

Embrace the convenience and peace of mind that the Midwest iCrate offers, knowing your pet will have a cozy and secure space to call their own. Start the journey of crate training today, ensuring a happy and harmonious bond with your beloved canine companion.

- Best Heavy-Duty Dog Crate: Frisco Ultimate Heavy-Duty Metal Dog Crate

Behold the robust heavy-duty metal crate crafted from top-notch steel, ensuring exceptional durability, making it a perfect choice for those dogs with a penchant for chewing. This crate boasts a dual latch lock system, providing both security and peace of mind for pet owners. Moreover, it comes equipped with convenient built-in wheels, enabling effortless transportation from one place to another.

Rest assured that your furry companion will be comfortably contained in this sturdy and reliable metal crate, while you enjoy the added advantage of easy mobility. Say goodbye to worries about your dog’s crate integrity and embrace the confidence this premium metal crate brings to your pet care routine.

- Best Airplane-Friendly Dog Crate: Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Step into the realm of ultimate pet travel security and convenience with this exceptional crate, thoughtfully designed to meet your dog’s needs and provide you with peace of mind. Crafted with a sturdy hard plastic exterior, it ensures your pup’s privacy and adds an extra layer of assurance during air travel.

The four-point vault door stands as a testament to its top-notch security features, ensuring your beloved companion remains safe and snug throughout the journey. For optimal ventilation, this carrier boasts open steel wire vents on three sides and over a dozen holes at the back, ensuring your furry friend enjoys fresh air throughout the trip.

Ingeniously addressing your pet’s needs on the go, the crate comes equipped with clip-on food and water bowls, making feeding a breeze during travel. Complying with most airline requirements for pet carriers, this crate stands as a reliable and compliant choice for your adventures together. Nevertheless, it’s always wise to double-check the airline’s regulations before embarking on your voyage.

Delight in the ease and confidence that this crate brings to your travel experiences, as you and your pup embark on unforgettable journeys hand in paw.

- Best Portable Dog Crate: EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

Discover the epitome of pet travel convenience with this soft-sided crate, meticulously designed to enhance your furry companion’s comfort while being a breeze to carry along. Its collapsible nature ensures effortless portability, making it an ideal choice for travel enthusiasts.

To indulge your pup with the utmost comfort, the crate features a removable bed that is machine-washable, allowing you to maintain a clean and cozy space for your pet throughout the journey. With breathable mesh adorning all sides, your dog can relish in a well-ventilated environment, ensuring their contentment during every adventure.

Whether you’re embarking on a short road trip or a grand expedition, this soft-sided crate will be your trusty travel companion, catering to your dog’s well-being and making the journey a delightful experience for both of you. Revel in the ease and practicality of this portable haven, knowing that your furry friend is happily nestled in comfort.

- Best Play Pen Dog Crate: Frisco 8-Panel Plastic Exercise Dog Playpen

Unleash the joy of playtime for your pup with Frisco’s versatile playpen, offering an expansive area of up to 18 square feet for their amusement. The playpen comprises eight interlocking panels, each thoughtfully equipped with non-skid rubber feet, ensuring a secure and stable setup.

Grant your furry friend the freedom to frolic and explore within the confines of this spacious playpen. Whether indoors or outdoors, this carefully designed enclosure provides a safe and enjoyable environment for your pup’s playtime activities.

With Frisco’s playpen, you can take delight in watching your canine companion revel in their newfound play space, knowing that they are both entertained and safeguarded. Allow your pup to experience the thrill of play without boundaries, while you cherish the peace of mind provided by this top-notch playpen.

Tips for Successful Crate Training

To guarantee that your dog feels safe and secure in their cage, crate training involves tact and patience. Here are some tips for successful crate training:

  • Gently Introduce It: Place the crate in a comfortable space and introduce it using a calm and happy tone. Add treats or toys inside to create positive associations.
  • Be Patient: Crate training takes time, so be patient and allow your dog to explore the crate at their own pace.
  • Never Force Them In Forcing your dog into the crate can lead to anxiety and negative associations. Make crate time a positive experience.
  • Keep It Accessible: If your dog is anxious about the crate, keep the door open throughout the day and gradually build up to closed-door sessions.
  • Always Remove the Collar: Before placing your dog in the crate, ensure its collar is removed to avoid the risk of it getting stuck.

Frequently Asked Questions About Crate Training

  • How long does crate training take?
    Depending on the dog’s age, previous training, and temperament, crate training can take a variety of times. It can take several weeks to a few months for successful crate training.

  • Can I use the crate as a form of punishment?
    No, crates should never be used as punishment. Doing so can lead to fear and anxiety in dogs, making crate training more challenging.

  • Can I leave my dog in the crate for long periods?
    Dogs should not be left in crates for extended periods. Each dog has different physical activity requirements and needs bathroom breaks regularly.

  • Should I keep the crate door open or closed initially?
    For anxious dogs, keep the crate door open initially so they can explore it voluntarily. Gradually build up to closing the door once they feel comfortable.

  • Is crate training suitable for all dogs?
    Crate training can be beneficial for most dogs when done correctly. However, it may not be suitable for dogs with severe anxiety or other behavioral issues. Consult a professional trainer if needed.


Crate training can be a helpful technique for safeguarding the safety of your dog and comfort while left alone if it is carried out professionally and with patience. It provides a secure space for dogs to relax and prevents destructive behaviors. When choosing a crate, consider your dog’s size and needs, and opt for high-quality crates that suit your lifestyle. By following expert tips and taking a gentle approach, you can successfully crate train your furry friend and enjoy peace of mind knowing they are safe and happy in their crate.

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